We’ve all had that one really good friend that we make a point of seeing every single week.
But hopefully, most of us didn’t have to have that awkward conversation about who was going to buy the next round of coffee.
However insignificant, those conversations can seriously harm a relationship, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Clementinecutie13 recently found herself being pressured by her best friend to pick up their lunch tab, but there was a catch.
When her friend was disgruntled at her reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was somehow wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not 100% helping my friend financially?”
The OP’s best friend recently quit her job.
“About a month ago my (20 [Female]) friend (21 [Female]) quit her job because she was stressed out from it and desperately wanted out.”
“She also wanted to focus more on school, and I backed her up on this.”
“However, she made it seem that she had another job lined up until we were out at lunch one day.”
But the OP was surprised to find out what that meant for her.
“So we hang out anywhere from twice a week to twice a month and do whatever. This varied based on our work schedules, hers being far more flexible since she worked 3 days a week.”
“Anyway, we’ve always had this system where if one of us pays for lunch, the other pays for our Starbucks or something to do (if we go out).”
“However, last time at lunch, she made the comment saying, in a nutshell, that I better be prepared to pay for everything until she gets a job again.”
The OP wasn’t quite ready to commit to that.
“I was surprised at first. I don’t mind picking up the tab entirely sometimes, but all the time?”
“I asked about her job situation and she admitted she had no plan to find a new job and hasn’t started looking yet.”
The OP’s friend still didn’t think it was a problem.
“She told me it shouldn’t be a big deal because I was just promoted and got a raise at work.”
“I won’t lie, it was an okay raise but I’m in a situation myself.”
“I’m currently saving up to buy a new car (mine is on its last limb), and my boyfriend and I want to move in together here shortly and I want to be stable enough to do so.”
“I suggested we can just chill at home or do something for free, like go to a forest preserve sometimes instead of always going out.”
“The other times, I’d be happy to pay for our food and coffee.”
“She didn’t like this much and thinks I should just help her out because she’s struggling.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some could not believe the friend left her job without a backup plan.
“NTA, if she wants to do adult things like quit her job and expect others to pay for her to do things out of her means, then she should get adult consequences.”
“I recommend sticking to stuff that doesn’t involve money or only money for transport to get to a free activity or something as that money needs to be paid. You’re being nice enough by paying half the time anyway.” – MashedSpider
“NTA. I get helping a friend to buy some food when he/she is struggling, but that’s just downright insulting. How can she says that without even feeling a bit embarrassed?”
“You have your life, she has hers, you don’t even have to justify anything.” – Timzorrrr
“NTA – She needs to grow the h**l up and join adulthood. Quitting a job over drama while NOT having another gig lined up is just immature. Expecting your friends to carry your a** financially is the epitome of the entitled princess syndrome.” – BeachProducer
Others said paying or not had nothing to do with the OP’s promotion.
“NTA and your friend is NOT a friend, omgosh, that was beyond rude.”
“Your personal financial status does not give anyone the right to automatically feel you now have to pay for everything. You did the right thing.”
“She can go find a d**ned job, like, you have to work, so does she. Wow.” – NCKALA
“NTA. ‘I’m sorry but these expenses are just not within my budget. I love spending time with you though and would happily do things that fit both of our budgets.'”
“When she points out a raise or tries to argue:”
“‘You’re my friend and I enjoy our time together, but I’m not willing to discuss my financial situation with you. Also, I’m a little hurt that you seem more interested in getting a free meal/coffee/etc. then you are in spending time with me.'” – WerewolfWitch90
“NTA… but you will be if you allow yourself to pay for her meals, coffee, and whatever else she demands while she refuses to work.”
“I don’t care if you win $100 million in the lottery tomorrow — you owe her NOTHING.”
“She is choosing not to work. She has to accept the consequences.” – effie-sue
Some questioned the quality of their friendship.
“NTA, and it sets a really bad foundation for the future of the relationship. Once the precedent is set, it’s very hard to break and that will hurt or ruin your friendship.”
“Try finding a ‘free place’ to go and suggest a BYO or split into ‘who brings what’ picnic. Hanging out with your friend doesn’t need to cost money, you were both going to eat anyway so that’s already in your respective budgets.” – flowersandpeas
“NTA, there is a difference between being a supportive friend and an enabler. She’s decided to be irresponsible. You didn’t rescind your side of the give and take you had established, and even tried to come up with free/inexpensive solutions until she gets a new job.”
“The best thing you can do as a friend is to clearly, but gently tell her that you aren’t going to fund her irresponsibility.”
“You could even throw her some job hunting resources, but it is not reasonable for your friend to just assume you’re going to pick up the bill on every hangout because you got a small raise.” – masterredmage
“Yea, she sounds a bit toxic NGL (not gonna lie). I mean, if she was really your friend, she shouldn’t care if you don’t get coffee all the time and do something that’s free instead. She also shouldn’t force you to pay when she doesn’t even know if you can afford to pay.”
“So OP, I think you should probably talk to her about it, and if that doesn’t work, stop being friends with her. She honestly sounds like she just wants free coffee.”
“Also not to mention she quit her job and then just assumed you would pay for her? Like WTF (what the f**k).” – InfiniteSky4820
One thing that friendships and romantic relationships have in common is that money can ruin the relationship.
The subReddit agreed the OP was absolutely not obligated to pay for everything for her friend while she wasn’t working, but she should have a conversation with her friend.
Without talking about it, all of this financial pressure could ruin their friendship forever.